Phil Demmel

Phil Demmel

Phil Demmel in 2011.
Background information
Born (1967-04-02) April 2, 1967[1]
Genres Thrash metal, groove metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1985–present
Associated acts Machine Head, Vio-Lence, Torque, Technocracy

Phil Demmel (born April 2, 1967) is the lead guitarist for American heavy metal band Machine Head, and is currently their longest running member in that position. He was also a founding member of Vio-Lence, which also included Machine Head guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn. Demmel was also a member of Torque.


Demmel joined Machine Head shortly before the recording of the 2003 album [2] Through the Ashes of Empires. He began touring with Machine Head in 2002. He is long time friends with Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn, either since or before they both played in Vio-lence.

In 2007 Demmel appeared as a guest on the album DDP 4 Life with Chuck Billy's and Steve Souza's Dublin Death Patrol.[3]

Demmel has suffered from a loss of consciousness and fainting several times whilst playing live with Machine Head. At first believed to be a side effect of dehydration, Demmel has since spoken out stating that an existing heart condition was the cause. On the subject of his collapse whilst playing in Bristow, Virginia:

"I've suffered from episodes of Cardiogenic Syncope for the last 17 years or so but (doctors) ran a series of tests that came up inconclusive. I hadn't had it happen for a while until last December in Italy, when I passed out roughly about the time my father passed away back in the States. The incident in Virginia felt similar to what has happened in the past"[4]

Demmel announced his engagement to Bleeding Through keyboardist Marta Peterson in January 2012.[5][6]


Phil has always used Jacksons, since his days with Vio-Lence. He first used Randy Rhoads models, then later in the 90's he began using a white King V. When he joined Machine Head he had his white V and a Jackson Warrior which can be seen in the videos for Imperium and Days Turn Blue to Gray. Around the time of The Blackening's release he had his own signature V with Jackson, named The Demmelition King V.

The Demmelition King V has the line's classic sharp V-shaped alder body, with a more aggressive edge thanks to its additional cutouts and set up for the low-tuned brutal player. Its through-body quartersawn maple neck features a bound compound-radius ebony fingerboard (12" to 16") with 24 jumbo frets, mother-of-pearl shark fin position inlays and black-bound headstock with an inlaid mother-of-pearl Jackson logo. The barrage comes from an EMG 81 bridge pickup and an EMG 60 neck pickup, each with its own CTS volume control and both controlled by a three-way Switchcraft® switch.

Other features include a Floyd Rose Original double-locking two-point tremolo bridge, black hardware and die-cast tuners. Available in red with black bevels, black with silver bevels and white with black bevels. In 2010, Jackson released the PDX Demmelition King V. The guitar is a lower-end model of the pro series, featuring EMG-HZ passive pick-ups, a licensed Jackson Floyd rose, a bolt on neck and a rosewood fretboard.

For amplification, he uses Peavey 5150 and 6505 Amps with Marshall 1960BV cabinet in the studio. Live, he has recently turned to the AxeFX preamp for practical reasons.


  1. Phil Demmel about forgiveness and the future of MACHINE HEAD, March 15, 2010
  2. "Through The Ashes Of Empires". Road Runner Records.
  3. "REVIEW: Dublin Death Patrol – DDP 4 Life". August 15, 2008. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  4. "Machine Head | Heart Condition Caused Rocker's Collapse". Contactmusic. August 21, 2008. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  5. "MACHINE HEAD Guitarist Engaged To BLEEDING THROUGH Keyboardist". Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  6. "Machine Head's Phil Demmel Engaged to Bleeding Through's Marta Peterson". January 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
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